Friday, May 06, 2005

The Sickle Controversy

A few entries back thataway, I told the true and harrowing tale of my wife discovering a dead rat at the foot of the bed, titled “Farm Girl”. In short, one of our dear dogs had laid it there, we’re sure, for her approval. To say she yelped in surprise upon realizing that the “dog toy” she had seen on the end of the bed was actually a deceased rodent would be a bit of an understatement. But, as I relate in my story, my former farm girl did take it rather well.

I had a great time writing that entry, and to those of you who wrote to make a comment or express your condolences, thanks. All in a days’ work when you are living with a couple of Bichons, our perfect little puppies (well, mostly).

Since that time, Marie and I have had the occasion to tell the story to friends and others, taking turns as we go. Of course, we get a giggle out of watching our victims squirm when we reveal the rat part, and I especially like to embellish my wife’s bravery.

Maybe, when I wrote the part about the aftermath of finding a rat on the bed, I mean the part where I run into the bedroom and see her there, under the covers, with a dead rat on the bed, I wrote it to be more complimentary of my behavior than I actually deserve. I don’t think I made it sound like I was some hero or something, but apparently, to hear Marie tell it, there was a tinge more anxiety and flustration in my voice, which I may not have fully described, as I surveyed the situation. To hear Marie tell it, as I have now quite a few times, is to hear and watch my perfect partner, expressive and unbridled in her rendering of the moment. To hear Marie tell it, (she has to stand to get it just right), I am scurrying about, something like Carson Cressley at a trunk show, and saying, “Dogs, down dogs, get off the bed dogs”, as she calmly corrals them, holding them by the collar. After making it seem like this is not the guy you would want to find yourself on a deserted island with, in front of our friends, tears streaming down her cheeks, she assures me with the less than convincing, ‘”no, no, honey, it wasn’t that bad, really”, while others wet their pants. Mostly, I love to see her laugh like that.

But the part after that, where I run off to the basement to find something to scoop the dead rat up with, that part is steeped in controversy. What happened was, my version, I immediately go downstairs to get a tool, a trowel, a big putty knife, something like that ,and maybe a dustpan. But when I get there, for some reason, I can’t find diddly. I look on my tool wall, nothin’ adequate there. (We’re talkin’ a big rat) I grab a dustpan, a good steel one with a sharp edge, okay good. But I’m thinkin’, I don’t know what kind of condition this rat is in really, does it have guts stickin’ out, what, so I don’t want to just scoop it up with the dustpan, that might be too imprecise, make a mess. I just want something to run under the rat, pick it up quickly and deposit it in the dustpan. Anyway, it took awhile to find the right thing. Then I returned to the bedroom and did the job, and tossed Ben in the trash.

When Marie tells it, to friends, and others, it took forever for me to return, and when I did, she says, still standing, cheeks glistening, I returned with...............a sickle! “Yesssss”, she assures the rapt, “you know, like on the Russian flag”, (as she makes the big and bold curvy gesture with her hands), “the hammer and SICKLE”.

Well, hon, uh, not exacty a sickle. What kind of a dumbshit would use a sickle to pick up a dead rat on a comforter. They’re way too fucking sharp, and the blade isn’t wide enough. Okay, okay, maybe I was a little twitchy when you first found the rat. And I even crack up myself as I watch you go on, telling the story, and swearing to God I used a sickle, and watch you make that big and bold curvy gesture. But to set the record straight, since I am the guy who brought the tool, and I used it to pick up the rat, you will have to admit, right before the spanking, that it was not a sickle. It was a “Wonderbar”, a flat and useful crowbar, fer God’s sake, which, apparently, looks a great deal like a sickle. To some. To one.

Click here to see a sickle:

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Pacific Beach, Washington, United States